Internet Relay Chat (IRC)

OCF staff often use IRC to communicate. If you have questions, feel free to drop by — it's often faster than emailing us, especially for discussion-type questions.

We normally chat in the #rebuild channel. For historical reasons, #ocf is mostly for non-OCF-related discussion.

You have a couple of options for chatting:

Option 1: Use our web client

We have a web client set up at using the popular open-source web client The Lounge. It's already set up with our IRC network settings, so all you need to do is enter a nickname that you want to use and click the connect button at the bottom. You can enter your real name if you want, but it's not required. Once connected, you can type messages in the bottom bar and press enter and the OCF staff connected will respond to you as soon as we see your messages.

Option 2: Using your own client

You can connect using any IRC client. If you do not already have an IRC client, we recommend using Hexchat because it is free, open source, and generally easy to use. Our server settings are listed below:

  • Server:
  • Port: 6697 (requires SSL/TLS)
  • Channels: #rebuild (best to reach staff), #ocf (best for off-topic)

Option 3: Over SSH

If you're logged in to the OCF login server via SSH, you can use the pyrc script to easily connect to IRC. It will automatically launch a tmux session to contain your IRC session, so that you aren't disconnected when you close the terminal.

To do so, just type pyrc and hit enter. irssi will launch; press alt + left/right to switch which channel you're viewing.

Option 4: Over XMPP

If you have an XMPP account, you can join IRC channels with room name #channelname and server name (alternatively, depending on your client).

An `` XMPP account can be used, but an account on any federated server will work.

Authenticating with NickServ

To make sure that you can keep the same username, even after being disconnected and reconnecting again, you can register with NickServ.

Registering with NickServ

To register with NickServ, choose a password and enter the command /msg NickServ register [password] [email] into your IRC client. NickServ should reply after you run the registration command that you have been registered with your email. To see if you are registered properly, try running /msg NickServ info. You should see your email address, and where you are logged in from, among other results.


ZNC is an IRC network bouncer. It permanently connects to the IRC server, so users connecting through it can preserve their chat session. Most users don't need this, but IRC regulars may appreciate the extended chat history and the absence of join/leave messages.

ZNC also integrates with NickServ, automatically authenticating for you with a nickserv module if you save a password with ZNC.

Creating a ZNC account

Ask a root staffer (or ping #rebuild) to create a ZNC username / password.

Configuring ZNC

Configuration is most easily done through the ZNC web interface. It requires you to login using your staff-created ZNC account.

Once you've logged in, under Your Settings you should set the following fields:

  • Nickname: your nickname
  • Alt. Nickname: your alternate nickname, if your primary is taken
  • Ident: should be same as nickname, used to uniquely identify you from everyone else using IRC
  • Networks: add a network with server +6697, space included.

Click save at the bottom, and your ZNC account should be setup to connect to the main IRC server.

Connecting to ZNC

The OCF ZNC server settings are:

  • Server:
  • Port: 4095 (requires SSL/TLS)

You should also set your IRC client login settings:

  • Use SSL [...]: True
  • Login method: Server password (/PASS password)
  • Password: your ZNC password, or user:password

Once you have setup both ZNC and your IRC client, you should be able to connect to IRC normally.

Setting up NickServ to work with ZNC

If you are using ZNC, load the NickServ module by running /znc LoadMod nickserv while connected to your ZNC server. Then, in your ZNC web admin interface, log in and go to Your Settings under either the global or user modules links. Under the Networks section, click on the Edit link next to the OCF network and scroll down to the Modules section. Enable the nickserv module and type the password you used to register with NickServ into the arguments box. Then save your changes using the button at the bottom of the page and ZNC should automatically authenticate with NickServ if you get disconnected from ZNC.